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Jetstar to trial cabin baggage officers at select Australian airports

written by australianaviation.com.au | September 2, 2014

Jetstar is putting travellers on notice over carry-on bags. (Rob Finlayson)
Jetstar is putting travellers on notice over carry-on bags. (Rob Finlayson)

The so-called “Ryanair jacket” could soon make an appearance in Australia as Jetstar moves to ensure customers stay within their free carry-on baggage allowance.

Jetstar says an upcoming six-month trial of “cabin baggage officers” at a number of major Australian ports is about ensuring passengers are within the maximum allowable size and weight limits for carry-on luggage. They will also “assist” customers who need to have their bags checked in if they are too big or too heavy.

That move to “assist” passengers may give the airline a boost to its already healthy ancillary revenues, as passengers with excess carry-on pay to check in bags at the gate or decide to pre-purchase check-in luggage during the booking process to be on the safe side.

Jetstar is already one of the best airlines in terms of generating ancillary revenues, according to an IdeaWorks Company report published in July 2014. The report said Jetstar had 20.6 per cent of its total revenue come from ancillary revenue in 2013, the seventh highest among the 59 carriers surveyed.

The 2013 Qantas annual report said Jetstar grew its ancillary revenue per passenger grew five per cent in 2012/13, without giving a dollar figure, while a 2012 report from Amadeus found Jetstar earned 18.8 euros ancillary revenue per passenger in 2011, or $A26.5 based on current exchange rates. It ranked eighth among airlines surveyed.


Jetstar says the new cabin baggage officers will help ground crew at the boarding gate and allow flights to depart on time.

“To make the air fair for all of our customers, we want to make sure that everyone is compliant with our carry-on baggage allowance,” a Jetstar spokesman said in an emailed statement to Australian Aviation on Tuesday.

“Our customers generally comply with our carry-on baggage limits and we hope that the introduction of these additional ground staff will help educate our customers about our limits to ensure everyone is able to board safely, speedily and with adequate locker space.”

Jetstar allows passengers to take 10kg of carry-on luggage on Australian domestic flights, consisting of one main item and one other small item.

“Any piece of baggage that doesn’t fit with the requirements above will need to be checked-in and charges may apply,” the Jetstar website says.

Ancillary revenue is big business for airlines around the world, generating $US31.5 billion for airlines in 2013, compared with $US2.45 billion in 2007. That represented an increase of about 1,200 per cent.

In Europe, savvy travellers have invented special jackets, some with up to 17 pockets, in order to fight back against strict limits and hefty charges for carry-on bags by airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet.

In one such case, a passenger managed to fit a laptop, four t-shirts, two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, sunglasses, a mobile phone, camera, torch, books, notepad and first-aid kit, along with a plastic mug, spoon and tin-opener and a packet of freeze-dried Lancashire hotpot in a 17-pocket jacket. And for washing up, some gloves and a rubber plug.

The cabin baggage officers will be at Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Gold Coast airports, the airline said.

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Comments (13)

  • Glen


    I think it is crazy the size of some people’s carry on luggage they take up far too much room in the over head lockers and is just plain selfish. I did see a passenger on a AA flight in America who tried to take two bags on to a flight she got billed $74 for her efforts

  • Ty


    What annoys me is when your well under weight with your checked in luggage and slightly over weight with your carry on so they ask you to transfer some weight over to your checked in bags, completely pointless as at the end of the day your still taking the same amount of weight on board! I completely understand if your carry on exceeds the allowable dimensions as storage space is limited.

    I love how they insist that this is “…to ensure everyone is able to board safely, speedily and with adequate locker space.” When Jetstar Intl first took off to CHC in 2005 it was the only A320 operation in the world to not have slide raft fitted to its doors, As a money saving initiative they stored 8 rafts in the forward and aft overhead lockers which created a nightmare for its passengers and crew… this is another blatant money grabbing scheme and a kick in the guts for the naive flying public. This isn’t going to go down well… Surprised they don’t charge you to put a bag in the overhead lockers…

  • Paul


    When dealing with weight limits, the only way this would ever be fair and accepted,
    would be to weigh the passenger and luggage.

    It is not fair to be pulled up on a few kilograms,
    when someone who is obese and many kilograms above average weight
    does not get the same treatment.

    Regulation would be required to ensure airline do not see this a way of generating extra profits for their CEO pay remuneration.

  • Adrian Mealor


    I think the greater issue is the amount of fees jetstar charge in proportion to the effort or cost . $17 credit card fee on a return airfare of $100. 17 percent charge.. what does it really cost jetstar to service a credit card payment. ? Altering a booking . I recently paid $39 dollars for a one way fare, then the credit card fee on top. I wanted to change flights, on the day the cheapest fare was $49. When I completed the change I was asked for $117 to alter from a $39 to a $49 fare.. I rang jetstar and if a reservation officier in some low paid country did it it would cost $181.. was cheaper to lose the originzl $39 and make new booking.. in end I went virgin.

    What is the real cost to jetstar for the passenger getting online and changing their own booking..

    makes train travel look good.. no baggage cost, no change costs, no credit card service fee.

    Thank u

  • Ads


    About time!

  • Scott


    Its ‘kind of’ understandable but boardering on the pathetic and hair splitting in some cases. Sure we need a line to be drawn as some passengers will try to abuse every generous limit they are given for their super cheap fare. In the end a limit should be set, a small extra should attract a small extra fee and escelate accordingly as the passenger seeks to exceed their agreed limit.. Rather that than penalise somone for being 2 or 3 kg over their limit being hit with with a fee clost to 1/2 the price of their fare, there is room to be reasonable, firm and fair in my oppinion..

  • Neilp


    Unfortunately, most of the comments have missed the most important aspect of cabin baggage weight limits: safety. The overhead lockers are rated to a certain load in kilograms. If your bag is only 2 or 3 kilos over then it’s not a problem but if everyone is 2 or 3 kilos over then suddenly it’s a big problem. Especially if the worst should happen and load limits suddenly really matter.
    Enforcing weights and dimensions is fair on everybody. A little bit of forethought and planning means you have nothing to worry about when the cabin police arrive.

  • Bryan


    Would these officers be allowed to have an ounce of common sense?

    During recent flight (international) with Jetstar I had checked in 20kg with a 25kg allowance. My carry on consisted of a backpack with my laptop, compact camera and a bag of dirty clothes from the all nighter I just pulled. My duffle bag had a box of shoes and a stuffed toy – total weight was 5.7kg. I was under the weight limit and severely under the dimension limits.

    While I was waiting for my flight I went to duty free and purchased 4 bars of chocolate. They were no bigger than your normal cadbury blocks from the supermarket. It was given to me in a plastic bag. Now I had thought it was not a problem until I was about to board. Before even accepting my boarding pass all the lady did was point to my plastic bag of chocolates and protest “two bags only!” Was actually really stunned. My carry on bags were tiny – you could fit them both under the seat in front but no, two bags was all that was allowed. I tried to explain to her that they were just chocolates I had bought and I couldn’t fit them inside my bags (again, I kid you not, I had a tiny duffle bag that fit a pair of size 9.5US shoes).

    Nope, could not reason with her. She brushed me aside and started to accept the boarding passes of everyone else behind me.

    Luckily for me my travelling partner only had 1 bag so I physically threw it to him who was in the other lane while mumbling some profanity.

    Would they have denied boarding if I had 7 plastic bags with a pair on socks in each?

  • John


    yeh they are going to wear Nazi uniforms.

    Seriously, shouldn’t this be done at check in?

    ie. pull them aside, so as not to hold up q & get them to pay there.

  • Dee


    Checking cabin baggage is long long overdue.\
    I have seen many a passenger with two bags or one bag well oversize board with scant regard for other passengers towing the line. Then comes the bun fight with the overhead lockers stuffed full with oversized bags.
    Pity help the passenger with an in-size bag that is last in. No bag space for sure due to the oversized bags or the multiple bags from the one passenger.
    It would seem that too many people are keen to avoid the carousel and have oversized bags stuffed with lord knows what so that they can exit the aircraft and then exit the terminal – no carousel like the other normal bag people.

    There are safety issue here as well. In the case of bad turbulence or an accident these over sized bags and overweight are going to crash down on the passengers below. The other aspect is the weight of these oversized carry on bags. Many are overweight from my observation. One has to wonder if that has been calculated into the maximum allowable take-off weight of the aircraft.


  • Blind Monkey


    This is long overdue. I tire of pax being ALLOWED to carry on baggage in excess of the mandated weight and/or size limits while check-in staff and cabin crew watch on seemingly oblivious to the practice. Speaking as a pilot I’m acutely aware of the hazard cabin baggage creates in an emergency.

    I wish airlines and governments would ban carry-on duty free booze. In an accident or heavy landing these bottles can become projectiles, some of which are full of combustible liquids. Try carrying on a bottle of mentholated spirits and see how far you get, yet brandy is OK. Go figure.

  • Andrew


    I think its smart, but we all know Jetstar is doing it to make extra money off making people with 200g extra luggage pay $20 for it to be let on the plane.

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